Normalizing Breastfeeding for our Future Generations
To wrap up World Breastfeeding Week, I wanted to touch on how to normalize breastfeeding for our future generations. Not only do we need to raise awareness in our communities to help support breastfeeding moms, but we need to make our older children aware too. I’m Amanda; social media guru at Baby Jack, mom of three, and currently breastfeeding our office baby Hazel. This first picture of me nursing Hazel was taken by my 8 year-old daughter.
This past weekend my children and I attended the Global Big Latch On event in our community. The Big Latch On took place at certain registered locations around the world where moms would (you guessed it) have their breastfed babies latch on at the same time. The big idea behind it was to help support nursing moms by normalizing breastfeeding and offering community support. Almost all the moms at my location brought their support people and other kids with them and it was a beautiful experience.
My older kids aren’t phased at all by breastfeeding, whether it’s me nursing their baby sister or another mom feeding their little one. Both kids asked a lot of questions in the beginning (“does it hurt? How is the milk made? Does one boob make white milk and one make chocolate?”) Now my oldest daughter will educate her friends about breastfeeding when she talks about her baby sister. I really believe that the best way to normalize breastfeeding is to help teach the next generation that there’s nothing shameful or weird about breastfeeding babies. The easiest way to teach our children about breastfeeding is to breastfeed around them! Let them see you feeding your baby. There will probably be questions (aren’t there always??) but those are the best teaching moments.
Big kids can help pick out "toys" for an easily distracted nursing baby too. I have a few pieces of teething jewelry from Chompy Chic Chewlery that work great not only for teething, but to distract my 9 month-old while nursing. I also love using a Baby Jack & Co lovey not only to keep her warm, but for her to play with the tags while nursing. Before we sit down and get ready to nurse, I'll ask my older kids to go pick out a nursing toy for their sister. They like getting to choose which teething necklace or which lovey to use (my daughter likes to match them to Hazel's outfit.) Involving older children with breastfeeding helps them feel involved, important, and most importantly helps normalize breastfeeding in their minds.